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Sesame Workshop Launches New Resources in Celebration of Autism Acceptance Month

autism awareness month sesame workshop

Sesame Workshop, the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street, released new resources today in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month. These free resources in English and Spanish aim to help autistic children and their families build confidence and self-determination skills, while also fostering understanding and acceptance of autism among all children and adults.


The new resources are part of the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. They add to the wealth of content for children, families, community providers, and educators, which includes books, videos, articles, and professional development tools.


The new bilingual Sesame Workshop resources for Autism Awareness Month include:


A digital and print storybook “Julia and Rose — Best Friends Fur-Ever,” which shows how Julia grows in self-determination as she finds kind ways to care for her beloved dog, Rose. With help from her family, Julia completes important tasks like bathing, feeding, and walking Rose.

Three new printables — “Super Helper,” “Time for a Treat,” and “Where Should We Go?” — that feature art and themes from the storybook and are designed to give children opportunities to focus their attention on a task and make decisions while having fun.

Two articles for parents and caregivers — “Teaching Self-Determination Skills” and “Setting and Achieving Goals” share playful activities to help children develop important self-determination skills, build confidence, and a sense of belonging when helping others.

A webinar “Forging Furry Friendships” explores ways animal interventions may support autistic children and their families. Expert guests explain the science behind the special relationship between humans and animals and offer next steps for families interested in finding a pet, service animal, or other animal-based programs.


“Since we introduced Julia in 2015, we have heard from families and educators around the world how much they love and relate to her and how she has helped them start conversations and foster an understanding of autism,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Ed. D, Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “We are thrilled to launch these new resources, which reflect our ongoing commitment to creating a more inclusive world where autistic children are celebrated and supported in all the ways they learn and grow.”


In celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, there are also various location-based experiences Sesame Workshop has planned around the world. For the first time ever, Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando will have Julia join the daily parade wearing sensory headphones to manage noise sensitivity, which helps her to partake in the fun. As part of their Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend series, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia will feature a “Julia & Friends Weekend” including sensory-friendly performances of the “Let’s Play Together” show and a Julia-themed scavenger hunt. Sesame Place Philadelphia, Sesame Place San Diego and Busch Gardens will offer Julia meet-and-greets, and distribute the free storybook “We’re Amazing, 1,2,3!” to guests. In 2018, Sesame Place Philadelphia was the first theme park in the world to become an IBCCES Certified Autism Center. Sesame Place San Diego became certified upon its opening in 2022. Beaches Resorts (Turks & Caicos and Jamaica) was the first all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean to become certified by IBCCES in 2017, and two years later they became an Advanced Certified Autism Center. The resorts offer weekly art activities and meet-and-greets with Julia.


To celebrate the uniqueness of every child, Crocs is releasing a new Sesame Street collection for preschoolers and toddlers, featuring Julia, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby. The collection is launching exclusively at Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker stores as part of the “Be Seen” platform to promote and support Autism awareness and acceptance.


Internationally, Sesame Street Japan and the Midories, a musical group of five children who regularly appear on NHK, are debuting a new “We Belong” music video featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Julia. The video highlight’s positive identity and friendship of all children, encouraging a sense of belonging in a diverse society. In Bangladesh, a day-long event will be held on Autism Acceptance Day at broadcast partner RTV’s studio, including a Sisimpur costumed character show with other activities for children aimed at spreading awareness about autism.


The Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative was launched in 2015, with the introduction of Julia as a storybook character, and funded by American Greetings, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Kristen Rohr and The Jones/Davis family, in celebration of Julia Brooke Davis. Since Julia made her debut in 2017 as a Sesame Street Muppet, she has appeared in various episodes, segments, and specials. Resources and more information can be found at sesameworkshop.org/autism.